We have talked for some time now about and living in God’s peace and even when the world is a mess. We can have in the worst of circumstances.
. We can enjoy God’s peace in spite of and in the midst of that trouble. We are growing in God’s grace and
For us, is part of an .
For some, peace is a part of existential tribulation. For some, peace causes turmoil in the here and now.
Whoa! Hold your holy horses preacher! How can peace bring turmoil and tribulation?
Many have made peace with the world. The world is their friend. The peace that they know is not the us.
The . . .
If you have heard me preach for a few months or many years, you know that I don’t really have a hellfire and damnation sermon. I could preach one, but it would be contrary to the ordination given to me. I am educated enough to give you a message and it would have fidelity with Jonathan Edward’s message by the same name. It’s not that I don’t know how to give one.
It is that they are not effective and use one of the primary tools of the enemy—fear. People who come to profess their faith in Jesus through fear often are only professing their fear of hell. Even the are .
I am not talking about the . That’s a and the for greater things. I am talking about coming to Jesus out of the fear of hell. That’s the road most traveled in too many places and the road that ends before reaching discipleship.
And there are many who are not blind but still live by the rules of the world. They may have even with their lives. They believe but don’t trust.
These are people whom we know. These are people whom we help. These are people who may pray every day but have not trusted the Lord with anything important for a single day.
These are people that want the salvation of the Lord and likely have received it. Only the Lord knows if they indeed —that they professed aloud that Jesus is Lord and believe with their hearts that God raised him from the dead.
They want their salvation from the Lord, but they seek their peace in the world. We talked before about . We have entered the third millennium since the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We are approaching the beginning of the third millennia since he ascended into heaven and the world has made a lot of friends.
I don’t know the day and the hour but I suspect . Surely when . Surely we who follow Jesus must .
Many do not know salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ but many others have professed their faith; yet both groups have to the world. Both groups are friends of the world. They seek their peace from the world.
Some have become friends of the world over time. I have used this analogy for years. It’s not my own. It was around for decades before I employed it. Leadership gurus, management analysists, and paradigm pioneers use it still today, as will your preacher.
Drop a frog into a pot of boiling water. It jumps out of course. But if you put another frog—it probably wouldn't be the same frog. If you get thrown into a boiling pot once, you're not going to get caught by these crazy management analysts again. If you put another frog into room temperature water, it will sit contently as you heat up the water one degree a minute until the frog boils to death.
There are many Christians in this world boiling to death one degree at a time. They are making peace with the world. They are seeking the world’s peace. .
Many have received the salvation of the Lord but their response is to . What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound even more?
a rhetorical question, but he must have thought that some might take him up on this as a challenge, so he answered his own question with a resounding, “No!”
Have you seen the posts that pick on one group and sarcastically ask us to quit saying, “Could they get any ? They are taking it as a challenge.”
It seems that some people today are doing the same with becoming a friend of the world. We died with Christ. We come to life in Christ. We belong to Christ. Why would we unite ourselves with the world when ?
The answer is that most of us do not, but we know so many who do. Are we content to leave them in the peace of the world?
If the answer is no, how do we keep them from boiling to death?
The world is becoming busier by the minute. The world demands more and more of you. The , “Be still and know that I am God.”
The world says, “You don’t have time for that” as it turns up the temperature by another degree.
I look at parents today. Sports take up big chunks of life. You can’t not play. You have to play every chance you get, or you kids will be left behind.
I look at technology today. You can’t not be connected. You can’t not play video games. You can’t not miss a day checking posts.
I look at addiction today. It seems like it used to just be alcohol. Then it was alcohol and drugs. Then it was pornography. Then it was tobacco. Then it was video games.
I look at today’s world and see so many things and events and substances that offer friendship to us. . .
So many people will go through this life and will have known little else than busyness. The sum total of their lives will be defined in one word: busy.
Now, if that is us, we must keep our . When we feel , we have the presence of mind to ask, “Am I becoming a friend of the world?”
We should have the efficacy to make the desired changes. That is, we should know what to do and have the desire, initiative, and courage to do it.
What about those who have tied the knot with the world? How do we reach them? Do we try to scare the hell out of them, ?
What do we who believe in Christ, are doing our best to trust in the Lord, are working hard , and who enjoy the peace of the Lord to do? What are we to do?
We could say, “I’m good. Good luck buddy.”
We could throw a Bible at them and say, “Better get after it.”
We could sling some Bible verses at them. That always works.
We could bring them to worship and they could hear Tom preach. That’s guaranteed to fix them!
What are we who have peace to do with those whom we know have made peace with the world?
We should do the very thing our Lord and Savior did. What’s that? Disturb the peace!
For all the before his execution, none could prove any charge against him. Had the self-righteous prosecutors thought about it, they could have come up with the perfect charge: Disturbing the Peace.
, he did not come to bring peace but a sword. . If you were friends with and at peace with the world, your world was about to be turned upside down, at least from your perspective.
Jesus came to give people a chance to get right-side up, but to do that he disturbed the peace that they had with the world.
So how should we ? Should we start making signs and working on ridiculous chants? No!
We must shine as a light before people. We put our very lives on display and the light that shines from us is love, hope, and peace. There are other attributes, but for now let’s focus on peace.
Do you remember the ?
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
When our in the Lord, when our thoughts always have , when the and not our , then we have peace.
Then we . and we are .
We when the .
We have . And .
. We are not constantly reminding people that they are going to hell. We are living a and of hope and of in spite of this world’s demands, and some people who have become good friends with the world and its ways see this and wonder.
How are these people ?
How are these people when they make less than I do, and all the time?
How are these people ?
Just what do these people have that I don’t?
That’s where the conversation begins. That’s where in and gentle words we reveal the and and that we know.
That’s when we remind people that we are —the who has —and not . We stand firm. We don’t waffle. This is who we are, and we are not interested in being a friend of the world.
We tell our neighbors that we will be their friend but not a friend of the world. We remind them that being their friend might disturb the peace that they have with the world. Realize that we might not get invited to all of the birthday parties anymore.
When people wonder what’s up with us, that’s when we humbly explain that while we have , we are at peace because we are master of our money. .
That’s when we take a risk and become a bit vulnerable and let these friends of the world know that we , but we have learned to and be a part of a network known as the , and we have received his peace.
That’s when we tell them face-to-face—remember that —that our prayer for them might not be their prayer for themselves. We are praying that .
that they come to know that not only but that as well.
We look them in the eye and tell them that we have come to and help them find . We are not condescending. We are . We are to make disciples.
We are not commissioned to save people. That’s the , but to , make , and teach others what Jesus taught us.
So many in this world have professed their faith at some point in their lives but have . Instead of wherever he leads and receiving , not because of our circumstances but because of our faithfulness to him, they have made peace with the world.
while in the wilderness? One day they would enter the land promised to them. They might negotiate peace with cities outside of the Promised Land, but once they were claiming this land, they were to leave no breathing thing.
This sounds harsh, but and any ungodly people still left in the land would corrupt his own people and steer them away from the laws that he gave them.
Today, we must not be a friend of the world if Jesus is our Savior and our Lord. Consider these simple dichotomies.
Friend of the world or friend of God?
Make peace with the world or receive God’s peace?
Trust in the world or trust in the Lord?
speaking the truth. Many only want and have no problem omitting or redacting the truth. Disturbing the peace is not the most direct route to acceptance in the world, but we are only here.
. God called him to tear down the altar to Baal and destroy the Asherah poles. He did and the people wanted him to pay for it. So the people came to Gideon’s father and demanded that he turn over his son so that he could be put to death for offending Baal.
Joash, Gideon’s father told the people that if Baal is indeed a god, then he can take care of this himself. From that point on, Gideon was known as Jerub-Baal, meaning let Baal contend with him.
Are we afraid today that we will offend Baal if we destroy his altars and smash the Asherah poles of our day? Exactly ?
We are not talking about pulling down statues as seems to be the fad these days. We are talking about a of confrontation. We . We . We lead people to see that needs to be firmly affixed to solid rock.
The truth is that . You are not going to enjoy God’s peace if you have made peace with the world.
You know that, but do your neighbors? Isn’t time that we ? Isn’t it time that we enough to disturb the peace that they have made with the world.
Our that it more than God.
Our must be so that it says even when talking about the football game.
We must be thankful and even , so people know that our
And our takes center stage. . We by our love.
Let’s disturb the peace.